On Sunday, October 18 we were talking with Andrew’s family and his mom asked if I’d started having contractions yet (I was 37 weeks the upcoming Thursday). I was happy to report there were no symptoms of labor. The next morning I woke up and began have steady braxton hicks all day long. They continued on Tuesday and Wednesday and ALL Wednesday night- enough to keep me awake most of the night. They continued on Thursday and Friday and Saturday. The really nice thing about this being my second baby is that I wasn’t so jumpy about it. I knew this could go on for weeks so I wasn’t anxious and didn’t really bother telling Andrew 90% of the time.
This went on until the following Thursday morning, October 29. I had a doctors appointment and when she checked me she discovered I was at a 3. I was elated. It took 15 hours of back labor to get to a 3 with Emily. I felt like I had been given a huge gift. Progress without pain!
After she checked me I began bleeding and it began to feel a lot like early labor. Emily and I went to chick-fil-a on a girls date and then grocery shopping. We played outside. We made dinner. I figured we still had some time but hoped that I would have a great nigh sleep and wake up and have the baby.
I didn’t wake up and have the baby, but I felt not so great. I went on a walk and then got Emily going for the day. I was having strong contractions that weren’t regular but Andrew stayed home that morning and took care of Emily so I could do some work for teaching and keep my mind of contractions. Just before lunch I went on a long walk to see if labor would get started for real, and when it didn’t Andrew went off to campus to work. Emily and I had a normal afternoon, but I began checking schedules to see who would be available to watch Emily in the next 24 hours.
Emily and I made some dinner together and then we both went to bed around seven. I laid there and tried to rest as the contractions got stronger. Around 9:30 I got up and realized Andrew was making turtle brownies, which I thought was hilarious because it seems like the number one tip for early labor is to bake something. It wasn’t that funny though because I was feeling extremely nauseous and brownies don’t actually smell good in those conditions.
Andrew came and timed a few contractions – they were lasting 90 seconds and about three minutes apart, but they didn’t hurt, just were really strong. Because there was zero back labor we had no idea what to expect so after a call to the doctor they recommended that we come in since it had been going on for more than an hour. I took a shower and Andrew called our friends who graciously ended their halloween party early to come spend the night with Emily.
When we got to the hospital I was dilated to a four and they admitted us right away around midnight. Because I tested positive for group B strep the doctor wanted the antibiotics in me for four hours before anyone even looked in my direction again. Andrew was able to sleep during a lot of this time and I rested in the bed. I was told the doctor would be in around 5:30 to check me and break my waters, so around 5 Andrew and I walked the halls a few times to see if we could get stronger contractions going before she came in. They did get stronger and the doctor was held up somewhere, so the nurse suggested I take a shower while we wait to help with the contractions. They still weren’t painful but I didn’t have anything better to do so it was a good diversion.
The on call doctor came in around 6:30 (I think) and said I was at a 5 or a 6 and broke my water. After about an hour and a half I was thinking the contractions were pretty strong but the nurse was skeptical. She checked me and said I was at a five and I was feeling very discouraged and completely worn out after being up all night. She said that doctor tends to over-estimate progress and she assured me I had been progressing. I ended up lying in bed for awhile to just try and rest as the contractions got stronger and stronger.
It didn’t take too long before I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. Andrew jumped in and started to help with the back pain and the nurse suggested I head back to the shower. By this point I was feeling desperate and done. Andrew was a little sick and the nurses gave him some sprite and then he joined me (rolling up his pants) to rub my back through the contractions. After a long while we heard a knock at the door and a student nurse saying, “Can you please turn off the water – we have a serious flood situation out here.” Turns out the drain to the shower hadn’t been working so we flooded the bathroom and the entire labor and delivery suite. I could care less (although I get the giggles now every time I think about it) but the nurses spent the rest of my labor trying to contain the water mess to make room for the delivery team.
When I came out of the bathroom I needed to be done. I was at a 8 and I just wanted to die. It was only a few contractions more before I felt like pushing and then they made me wait! It seemed like the delivery team was taking forever to get ready. They helped me get into bed and told me to pant – which I thought was crazy. Andrew got me to make eye contact and held me through while they found the doctor and he slloooooowly suited up (Andrew assures me he was making good time, but time is really relative). After one or two pushes Nathan’s head came out, another push his shoulder, he started crying (the doctor gave him bonus points for crying before his bottom was out) and the his bottom and the rest of him came and they handed him right to me.
He and I hung out together through all of the unpleasantness of being stitched up. I don’t think I would have made it through that without him. Nathan Andrew Jackson was born at 10:55am, weighing 8lbs 8oz and was 20 3/4 inches long.
Andrew holding Nathan for the first time.
He stopped crying and Andrew snapped a picture.
Getting checked out – he passed all with flying colors. He was super red for a few days and the nurses said they call red babies “ruddy”. It put him at higher risk for jaundice but he seems to have made it in the clear and the redness has decreased significantly.
The nurses called Andrew over because he was sucking on his finger and they thought it was so cute he should take a picture.
He has curly hair just like Emily did, although his is starting out a little bit lighter in color.
Andrew noticed his hands clasped shortly after they finished testing.
We are so grateful for Nathan’s smooth entrance into this world.